General Dynamics [GD] UK  yesterday said it has been awarded an approximately $5.3 million contract to upgrade the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps’ (RNLMC) New Integrated Marines Communications and Information System (NIMCIS).

This upgrade will bring the Dutch force’s tactical communications system in line with the recently delivered British Armed Forces’ Bowman CIP 5.4 capability and ensure interoperability between the two allied forces, the company said in a statement released at DSEi 2011. Called NIMCIS 2, the contract will run for 18 months and will be delivered in three phases.

“Our existing work on NIMCIS has proved a key enabler to making the Dutch Marines interoperable with other allied forces, especially with the UK’s Royal Marines,” said Sandy Wilson, president and managing director of General Dynamics UK. “We are delighted to have the opportunity to once again put this valued export customer at the cutting edge of tactical communications once again as we upgrade NIMCIS to NIMCIS 2.”

According to Brig. Gen. Rob Verkerk, director of Operations Royal Netherlands Navy and Commandant Royal Netherlands Marine Corps, the NIMCIS 2 uplift is an operational prerequisite which is most welcome.

“The NIMCIS 2 upgrade ensures the command and control systems of the Dutch LPDs and the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps are fully interoperable with the UK armed forces and with the bilateral UK/NL Amphibious Force,” he said.

Since 2006, NIMCIS, which was delivered by General Dynamics UK has provided the RNLMC with a standalone, secure voice and data communications infrastructure capable of supporting a range of network-enabled C4I systems. General Dynamics UK was also responsible for installing the NIMCIS system in 300 RNLMC vehicles.

As well as providing the Dutch Marines with a proven, highly reliable Mobile Adhoc Network (MANET) that delivers C4I capability across the battlespace, NIMCIS 2 will include a new version of ComBAT (Common Battlefield Applications Toolset), which provides enhanced battle planning with new communications information planning tools. It will also have a more stable and robust tactical internet, improved situational awareness and lighter equipment for the troops to carry.

General Dynamics UK will work closely with its Dutch customer throughout the NIMCIS 2 project to align its resources and equipment with training and production cycles of the new equipment. The company will also provide enhanced training at the Marines Training Centre in Doorn and ensure resource and equipment transition seamlessly into operational use for the Dutch Marines.